Stuff And Nonsense

Posted on Tue 04/25/2017 by


By Edward Cline ~

I think one of the most astounding, arguably dense articles to be published anywhere on the issue of censorship vs. freedom of speech was published in one of the most unlikely quarters of the world, New Zealand. A correspondent sent me the text and link to an article titled: “Want equality? Curtail free speech.” It was written for “Stuff” by a fellow by the name of Jacob Van De Visser. “Stuff” was described by the correspondent, Lindsay Perigo, as IslmoMarxist.

Freedom of Speech? Stuff and nonsense! It’s a short article, so, instead of beginning with my own comments, I’ve reproduced the article here so you can guffaw or be astonished as you will. Mr. Perigo, in his own remarks, wondered if the piece was tongue-in-cheek satire because it is so blatantly irrational and hostile to freedom of speech

I’m not certain of its sincerity, either, but given the avalanche of anti-speech articles and the ubiquity of actions that have taken place before and after Donald Trump’s election (see the Gatestone column here about American campuses opposing or shutting down speech, except that which doesn’t violate student “safe spaces”) in November 2016, together with the tone and content of Stuff’s other articles, it is wholly consistent with the irrationality of what is occurring in the West.

It’s time for New Zealand to criminalize Islamophobia!

On March 23, New Zealand awoke to the horrific news of yet another terrorist attack, this time in London.

A deranged individual ploughed a car into innocent pedestrians and brutally stabbed a police officer to death before being shot. Five people died, including the attacker. [Italics mine]

The Twittersphere was soon abuzz with conjecture and accusation. Who was to blame? What were the motives?

I felt sick as I read comments saying “Islam is to blame” and “it must be another Muslim”.

The fact that the attacker was a Muslim is irrelevant. The issue is that Islamophobia was the first response.

If you are a Muslim, you continually have to defend your faith against people who accuse it of being a dangerous and violent set of ideas. Islam is the religion of peace; anyone who understands this knows it has no part in the ideology of ISIS.

Life is a constant fight for other minorities, too.

If you are a member of the LGBTQAA+ community, you must battle for your rights. You are forced to choose from just two bathroom choices when often you don’t fit either. Workplaces often fail to be inclusive to this community, refusing them places in the boardroom.

If you are a woman, trans or otherwise, there is no escape from rape culture. On any given day you might hear a rape joke, or be given a “compliment” such as being asked for your number by a stranger. The men who make these comments defend them as harmless, but unwanted harassment can trigger harmful flashbacks to previous similar incidents or experiences of sexual assault.

The misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic hate speech directed at oppressed groups is damaging to society – and with the rise of Donald Trump’s brand of politics, it is also being legitimised.

So, what does this have to do with free speech? And how might things change for the better?

Well, there is some hope. The Canadian parliament has passed the M-103 motion, which calls on the government to condemn Islamophobia. It is the silver lining of a dark and depressing cloud, and it is something I think New Zealand should seek to not only emulate but improve.

Our Government should look to criminalise not only Islamophobia, but racist rhetoric and the criticism of feminism and LGBTQAA+ rights.

Free speech is all well and good, but it should not be defended at the expense of minority groups.

Nothing quells fear and hatred like making it illegal, and if we stop opposing progressive values then surely the constant fighting will stop too.

New Zealand is not a place of tolerance at the moment, but I believe if we curtail free speech, we will be on the path to a fairer future.

To make a solid argument for something, one must connect the dots. But the dots in the minds of anti-freedom of speech advocates are all over the map, unconnected (or disconnected, assuming there were once brains in which dots could be severed). The mind of an “anti-fascist” activist visually resembles a Jackson Pollock canvas. It is not for nothing that militant groups, such as Antifa, protest what they call “fascism” by adopting the tactics of demonstrably fascist thugs. It is, again, Soros-Speak. Or, Hillary-Speak.

“We must censor freedom of speech in order to protect it.” Or:”We must censor the Internet in order to protect it.” This is George Soros-Speak; in order to create an “open society,” which would be closed to anyone who values his freedom of speech and freedom, certain types of speech must suppressed, banned, or punished. In 2011,

Hillary Clinton’s prescription for suppressing “offensive” or “hate” speech would be to “shame” it if not outright obliterate the First Amendment. Mr. Van De Visser’s Stuff article, in language and in tone, could well have been written while he snorted up his sleeve, but it could as well have been a paper submitted  for discussion by The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), an office within the OSCE  (The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)  that claims to be dedicated to democratic elections, respect for human rights, rule of law, tolerance, and non-discrimination.

Their stated overall objective is helping governments protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and tolerance and non-discrimination, as well as to improve and strengthen democratic practices and institutions. Except that the actual theme of the two-day proceedings had a lot more to do with countering ‘hate crime,’ criminalizing ‘hate speech,’ and demonizing ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘Islamophobes’ than it did with genuinely championing the right to believe, live, and speak freely.

I’ll let Mr. Perigo have the nearly last word:

Good that the real fascists are coming out of the closet. Having been shrieked down by hysterical Muslims at Auckland University last year I know just what a menace to free speech they and their fellow-travellers are. At least the writer of this piece, assuming it isn’t a satire on Political Correctness, is honest.

Anymore, it’s difficult to distinguish between satirical writing and serious polemics.

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk series of novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and suspense novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all available on Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security Matters, Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.

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